All posts by Kevin

Choosing Vegetable Varieties: Peas

Peas are my favourite thing to grow. I grow all kinds – traditional shelling peas (some of them get frozen for winter use), crisp and crunchy snap peas, delicate thin snow peas, and soup peas to dry for the winter. All of them grow well here, though there are a few pests and diseases, and dry peas are far more reliable than dry beans if you’re growing them for winter protein.

Read on for my favorite varieties of the different kinds:

sugar snap peas on trellis

Shelling Peas

  • Meteor – a UK variety that grows small pods on small plants but is the fastest pea I’ve ever tried. Always the first shelling pea to be picked, this is always part of the first early batch of peas I plant.
  • Green Arrow – a tallish bush that is super-reliable and a  good cropper. My standard for any planting date.
  • Tall Telephone – takes longer than bush peas to crop, but then keeps on growing and setting new pods until it succumbs to powdery mildew. I’ve been selecting these for longer pods and more pods per vine, from a rather raggedy initial commercial batch from a cheap seed company.

Snap Peas

  • Sugar Snap – a vine that just keeps going and going
  • Cascadia – bush pea that’s very reliable

Snow Peas

  • Oregon sugar pod – big pods, bush plants, long season
  • Purple podded snow pea – this is an old variety that doesn’t have the tenderest pods but it’s worth it for the bright purple colour!

Soup Peas

  • Carlin – this has been my standard for many years. It’s strong-growing vine that dries down very reliably by the first week in August, thus avoiding the September rains that ruin so many dry bean crops here. Again, I am doing some selecting on this for more pods, bigger pods, and stronger vines.

This year I’ll be trying several new-to-me soup peas:  Swedish Red, Ancient Peas, Gold Harvest and Golden Edible Pod (which can be used as a snow pea or dried for a soup pea). I’ll probably have seed to share at Seedy Saturday in 2015.



How to Build a Light Stand for seedlings

When I started growing my own transplants, the setup was pretty rickety. After a cat-related disaster one day, I realised that I had to have something better. Commercial light stands at $500+ were out of my budget, so I built my own – and so can you. Here are instructions and drawings: if you want, you can download a printable version.

Light stand for growing seedlings
Light stand for growing seedlings

Materials List
Legs: 4 wood 1×2, 60” long ($10)
Rails: 6 wood 1×2, 54” long ($13.50)
Braces: 2 wood 1×2, 56” long ($4.50)
Top shelf: 14-16” wide, 46-48” long ($4)
Lower shelf: 24” wide, 46-48” long ($5)
2 hinges, 1” x 2” (loose pin if you want to be able to separate the stand into
two halves) ($3)
4 screw-in hooks ($2)
4’ light chain approx (for leg restraints: can use cord or rope) ($2)
12’ light chain approx (for hanging lights: can use cord or rope) ($6)
S-hooks as required (can be made from wire) ($2)
32 1¼” #8 screws ($3)
12 ¾” screws to fit hinges ($2)
3 double-tube fluorescent 4ft shop lights with tubes (mix warm white and
cool white, no need for full spectrum to grow seedlings) ($45-$63)
Timer and power bar as required ($14-$20)
Total cost: All new $140. Scavenged/Recycled: as low as $0


  1. Cut parts to size
  2. Lay out legs, rails and braces for one side of the stand as shown in the drawing, making sure rails are parallel and the same distance from the bottom of each leg
  3. Drill clearance holes at ends of rails in diagonally-spaced pairs to take screws (see drawing)
  4. Drill clearance holes at only one end of diagonal brace
  5. Drill pilot holes in legs to match
  6. Install one screw of each pair, screwing rails to legs
  7. Square up the whole thing
  8. Drill clearance and pilot holes at the other end of the diagonal brace and install screws
  9. Install remaining screws
  10. Repeat for the other side
  11. Hinge together at the top of each leg pair in A-frame style
  12. Place shelves on rails and adjust legs to an appropriate distance apart
  13. Install screw hooks near the bottom of each leg, and attach chain or cord between to stop legs sliding apart
  14. Hang lights from rails over shelves using S-hooks and chain or cord, and hook up to power bar and timer.

Click on the images below for larger diagrams.

Light Stand end


Light Stand side


Vegetable Gardening Resources for Gardeners

Man, there’s a lot of gardening info out there! Online, (including Kindle and other eBooks), there’s a lot of junk thrown up by those looking to make a quick buck from ads or product sales, but there’s also a lot of solid info. Here are my picks:

Vegetable Garden Design and Planning

Designing a Vegetable Garden

Vegetable gardening is easy, but creating the initial vegetable garden takes some work. Be sure to put some thought into designing your vegetable garden before you start digging.

How much veg to plant | Grow Organic Food

This summarises how much to grow to feed a family of two adults and three children. Each of the rows is 4.5M (15ft) Long. Also included is advice on how much to harvest for each meal.

West Coast Seeds planting chart

Planting dates for vegetable crops in British Columbia.


GrowGuide – Weekend Gardener

GrowGuide helps you plan a vegetable garden by informing you what you can sow, harden off, or transplant, week by week, based on your frost dates, in just four easy steps.

Starting Vegetables from Seed

How to Grow Vegetables: Direct Seeding Outside
Direct seeding outside has many advantages for most kinds of vegetables, though it’s not the best solution for all of them.
Starting tomato seed
Starting tomatoes from seed is really quite easy to do. Some good light, a sterile, well drained soil mix, some warmth and good seed is all that is needed.You can start your tomatoes begining 6-8 weeks before you want to set them out…
Vegetable Seeds – The Official Seed-Starting Home Page
The Official Seed Starting Home Page assists you in all your seed starting needs. Get fast facts on starting vegetable, herb, and flower seeds for your garden. One page of facts is devoted to each seed.
Seed Starting – How to Successfully Start Plants from Seed
Starting plants from seed isn’t rocket science, but there are several seed starting tips that will help your success rate with seed germination and give your seedlings a healthy start. Here’s how to start seeds indoors and the seed starting supplies you’ll need to grow plants from seed.
Seed Starting (Fine Gardening Magazine)
How a practiced propagator gets seedlings off to a healthy start

Buying and Growing Vegetable Transplants

Buying Transplants for Your Food Garden
Planting already-started plants (called transplants, starts, or seedlings, depending on where you are) is a great way to get a head-start on the season, but you need to know what to look for when you buy, in order to get healthy transplants that will grow well.
Growing Transplants – Taste of Gardening – University of Illinois Extension
Growing Transplants – Starting Plants at Home – Get a head start on your garden
Growing Vegetable Transplants for Home Gardens (PDF)
Straightforward instructions on raising transplants from the Agricultural Extension Service at the University of Tennessee

Soil and Bed Preparation for Vegetables

Preparing a New Raised Bed Vegetable Garden
There are a number of different ways to make a new raised bed vegetable garden. Some work better on a larger scale, some depend on having soil present to start with, others take more or less physical effort.
No-dig vegetable garden – TipThePlanet
A no dig garden, or raised garden bed, consists of layering organic materials on top of the soil to create a nutrient rich environment for your plants, in this case, vegetables. The garden literally composts the materials…
Master Gardener Manual: Soil Preparation
Master Gardener Manual: Home Vegetable Garden – SOIL PREPARATION
Arizona Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona.

Keeping Down Weeds in the Vegetable Garden

Cultivating and Weeding the Garden Without Chemicals | Garden Guides
Cultivating and Weeding the Garden Without Chemicals. Learn the basics of weeding and cultivating – pesticide free!…
Controlling weeds in your lawn and garden
A guide to controlling and eliminating perennial and annual weeds in your lawn and garden without the use of chemicals
Weeds and Your Garden
Contains: The dreaded weed … Prepare garden beds carefully… Watch out for weed sources… Block weeds with plants and mulch… Pulling weeds… etc
Weeding Aids
Weeding Aids – tools for keeping down the weeds.

Pests and Diseases of Vegetables

Insect Pests of Vegetables
North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service fact sheet
Vegetable Diseases Cornell Home Page
Detailed information on prevention and treatment of pests and diseases. Allows you to search by crop or other factors, and includes photos.

Watering and Irrigating Vegetable Gardens

Vegetable Garden Irrigation (Tips.Net)
A variety of methods can be used to irrigate your vegetable garden, ranging from very simple to complex. The easiest solution is to hand water the plants with a garden hose or a watering bucket. More complex systems use sprinklers, and the most complex systems use drip irrigation.<
Watering – Vegetable Gardening
Vegetable gardens usually need about one inch of water (630 gallons per 1,000 square feet) per week in the form of rain or irrigation during the growing season.
Gardening Without Irrigation (or without much, anyway)
Full text of Steve Solomon’s book “Water-wise vegetables”. Especially useful to maritime gardeners in areas like Cascadia, but has much to say to all gardeners.

Feeding and Fertilizing Your Vegetable Garden

How to Fertilize Vegetables Organically |
How to Fertilize Vegetables Organically. Use organic fertilizers for the constant supply of slow-release nutrients your vegetable plants need to thrive. Provide your plants with the right food and they’ll feed you well in turn.
Fertilizing Vegetable Garden Soils, HYG-1601-92
Ohio University Fact Sheet covering the basics of fertilizing with chemical or organic fertilizers.
Nutrient Deficiency Problem Solver
Plant Nutrition Problem Solver – how to tell when your plants are short of a nutrient.

Growing Vegetables in Winter

Fall and Winter Vegetable Planting Guide
Fall and Winter gardening, although an old practice, is an excellent solution for keeping the tilth and fertility of your garden’s soil at its peak levels. At the same time it yields crops of delicious vegetables throughout the fall and winter.
Winter Vegetable Gardening
Winter Gardening – what to grow, when and where. From Organic Gardening Magazine.
Winter Planting Guide
When to plant winter vegetables in BC – from West Coast Seeds

Veggie Gardening Magazines

Organic Gardening Magazine (US/Canada)
Organic Gardening magazine is an indispensable tool for the avid gardener with daily tips, regional gardening calendars, product reviews, forums, blogs, videos and more
Vegetable Gardener / Grow! (Taunton Press: USA/Canada)
Learn how to start and care for a vegetable, herb, or kitchen garden, from selecting the best heirloom and hybrid varieties to growing, harvesting, cooking with, and preserving your vegetables, herbs, fruits, and berries.
Kitchen Garden (UK)
UK’s No.1 magazine for growing your own fruit and veg

Veggie Gardening Forums

Vegetable Gardening
Looking for info about Vegetable Gardening? Visit the Helpful Gardener Forum, a friendly place for home gardeners.
Allotment and Vegetable Gardening – Index – Allotment and Vegetable Gardening
Allotment Gardening Forums, Growing Vegetables, Fruit and Herbs plus general gardening advice and help from other friendly gardeners and growers who like chatting on the plot about their garden<
Vegetable Gardening Discussion Forum
The Vegetable Gardening discussion forum at Dave’s Garden. Vegetables feed and nourish our bodies, while their beauty is a feast for the eyes. Here’s the place to discuss your favorite veggies…
Fruit & Vegetable Gardening – Canadian Gardening Forums
Interested in growing a vegetable garden or a fruit garden? Whether you’re gardening indoors or outdoors, planting an edible garden can be easy and fun.


Choosing Vegetable Varieties: Onions and Leeks

With onions being staples of the kitchen, and leeks being a reliable winter vegetable for us here in Powell River, lots of people grow them. With all the different varieties out there, how do you choose?


First let’s get the long-day / short-day thing out of the way. Areas in the southern US need onions which bulb when days are short, and you’ll come across these if you’re using a US seed catalog which sells to these areas (like Park Seeds). Here, we need “long day onions”, and if you are using a Canadian seed catalog, you’ll get this kind without worrying about it. You’ll also see onions described as “day neutral” which means they don’t care about day length – those are fine to use here, as well.

There are a number of different things to consider when picking varieties. The most important two are flavor (sweet, strong, mild, etc) and storage life. What you pick depends on your own preferences for flavour, and the purpose you have in mind for storage life. The two things almost always run together so that stronger-flavoured onions have a longer storage life, and sweeter onions don’t store as long.

Long-storage, strong flavoured onions are seeded in the spring and mature in the fall. if we get a wet fall, it’s hard to get them to mature properly and that affects their storage life, so the earlier in spring they are started, the better. Varieties I use include

  • Copra F1 – reliable and consistent in size, but you can’t save seed
  • Sturon OP – grows nice onions, don’t know about storage length since we eat thme before they have a chance to demonstrate it!
  • Calibra OP – new for me this year, similar to Copra but OP so you can save seed.

Red storage onions are also available, though they tend not to store quite as well as the yellow ones. I haven’t grown these, but West Coast Seeds has an OP called “Rossa di Milano” as well as some F1s.

Sweet, mild-flavoured onions are often overwintering types that are seeded in July or August and harvested the following year. They don’t store well but are great while you have them. The classic variety is Walla Walla. There are also huge sweet onions which are grown like storage onions but don’t store well, like Ailsa Craig.

What about sets? They seem easier to grow than seeded onions, but in my experience you don’t get the consistency (many go to seed the first year, or split into several bulbs) and often the actual variety isn’t stated so you don’t really know what you’re getting apart from a broad category. If you miss the planting window for seeds, and can’t get seedlings, they will give you a chance at a crop, though.


liz-leekLeeks are split into two broad categories, summer and winter. Summer leeks are fast growing and will give you a decent sized (though not huge) leek by fall, before the winter weather sets in. They are often not very frost hardy so can’t be left in the garden over winter. Winter leeks grow more slowly but are much hardier, and will continue to grow through the winter during mild spells to large sizes – sometimes huge. You can harvest them right through to April if you don’t eat them all first!

My current summer leek is Varna, which is a really fast grower, useful in my cool garden. For winter leeks I currently use Bandit and Siegfried Frost, and in the past I’ve had good results with Durabel, which is not so easy to find now. All those leek varieties are OP: you can find F1 leeks but they haven’t yet overrun the catalogs.

If you have trouble growing or storing storage onions, leeks are a very good alternative in our area. I’ve never had ours eaten by deer, even in winter.


Garden Planning part 2: What Type and Size of Vegetable Garden?

What size of garden you build depends on how much space you have, and how much time and energy for maintenance. Even if you have unlimited space, you are better off starting with a small space that you can keep up with (and expanding later), than taking on too much at the start and having it end up a disappointing jungle of weeds.

Pots and Planters
No soil, or horrible soil? Then you can grow a wide variety of food in pots and containers, anything from black plastic nursery pots to large wooden planters. I spent 13 years in a townhouse with 2 concrete patios where the built-in planters were already full of shrubs and small trees. I grew food every year in an eclectic container mix varying from pots bought at a nursery, to wooden planters built from old shipping pallets, to some 24″ diameter ceramic pots found in a dumpster! Pots are very convenient as you can move them from time to time to bring plants into and out of the sun, and take them with you when you move. When I moved into that townhouse it was September and I brought a dozen tomato plants in 5 gal buckets with me from my old place. The neighbors immediately christened me the “mad gardener”! My movers thought I was nuts too…

Edible landscaping
You don’t need to confine your food plants to dedicated beds or containers. Mix them in with your ornamental plants: lettuce and parsley as edgings, eggplants and tomatoes as annual “shrubs”, grapes or kiwifruit as permanent vines, peas and beans as annual fence-and-trellis coverers.

Small Plots
If you do have some soil, but your space is small so whatever you do is going to be on display, then small raised beds are a good choice for you. The borders round the beds make them seem more “intentional” and decorative, and the extra depth means that you can improve on whatever soil you already have. More details below on building raised beds!

Larger gardens
If you have more room, there are several ways to go.

One is the traditional vegetable garden with long rows of plants, often tilled each spring using a power tiller.

Another is to take your plot and split it into permanent beds about 3-4 ft wide, divided by paths, so that you never walk on the cultivated beds. This is currently a very popular way to lay out a vegetable garden, and it’s the way my own garden is designed. Permanent beds help with crop rotation (changing positions of plant families every year so that pests and diseases don’t build up) and allow you to build up really good soil in the beds – you apply all the good stuff only to the beds, not to the paths. Because of the good soil you can often plant closer and pack more plants into each bed. If the beds are raised, drainage will be better and the soil will warm faster in the spring.


Peat vs Coir vs Leaf Mould

Many people feel that using peat in the garden  is environmentally irresponsible, and are looking for alternatives. This article describes coir and leaf mould as alternatives to peat.

Coir is now widely available locally. It comes from coconut husks (a by-product of coconut processing for food)  and you can get it in various textures ranging from coarse chunks to quite fine fibres. It soaks up and holds water well. One big advantage over peat when used in potting soil is that it doesn’t shrink and pull away from the side of the pot if it dries out. The biggest downside to coir for us in Canada is that it has to be transported long distances from its source in India, Sri Lanka and the Pacific.

Leaf mould is not something you buy, it’s something you make in your own garden from local leaves. As such, it’s free in terms of dollars, but it takes time – a little of your time to gather the leaves and store them in a way that will allow them to transform themselves, and several years for the transformation to happen. It’s a long term project but one which can become part of your garden schedule.

Leaf mould contains a range of micronutrients for plants, and is normally about pH neutral. It holds water very well. You make it by stacking leaves in a big pile and leaving it to rot, or by filling plastic garbage bags with leaves and letting them rot. Because leaves are decomposed mostly by fungi, oxygen isn’t needed as much as with a compost pile, but moisture definitely is. Some kind of enclosure is useful to keep the leaves from blowing away. Shredding them before storing will speed up decomposition, but unshredded leaves will work fine, just take longer. A mix of leaves will rot better  than all one kind, and adding a bit of compost or soil to the pile will get things started more quickly.



Vegetable Garden Planning, part 1: Where to place your vegetable garden

Plants need sun, water, air and nutrients, and where you choose to place your garden will have a big effect on all of those. While you can bring water and nutrients to the garden, you need to pick the best spot for sun and air from the start.

While some vegetables will manage with less than full sun, most of the ones we value the most in our home gardens (tomatoes, anyone?) need plenty of sun. Your climate affects this, though: if you are in a hot and sunny climate your garden may need afternoon shade, whereas if you are in the cloudy Pacific Northwest like me, you need all the sun you can get! So, choose a location that gets at least 6-8 hours of sun but does not get overheated if your climate is hot.

“Air” really has several aspects: ventilation to prevent disease, wind protection, and pooling of cold air.

Many plant diseases are fungal in nature and good ventilation and air circulation can help to prevent them. For most gardens this won’t be a problem, but if you are tucked into a corner you might have some issues. Trade off ventilation against warmth, depending on your climate. If it’s cool and breezy in your location, choose warmth. If your climate tends towards warm and humid, choose better ventilation.

Wind can flatten young and even established plants, and blow away dry soil. If your area is windy and you can choose a more protected area, do so. Otherwise, there are many ways to provide windbreaks.

Cold air flows downhill, but can pool and cause more frost that normal if something like a wall or thick hedge blocks the flow. Ideally your garden area will allow cold air to flow away downhill, rather than trap it.

One more thing to think about when you are choosing where to place your garden is the slope of the ground. A slight slope won’t cause erosion problems, but the more sloped your ground is, the more likely your soil is to wash away when it’s not covered with vegetation. You may need to terrace your slope, or put borders along the lower edges of beds. Look out for places where water flows into your garden area from uphill, too, and make sure you can divert and make use of the water so it doesn’t damage the garden. Look into the use of “swales”, shallow ditches which slow down water flow and allow it to soak into the ground rather than causing erosion.

The slope direction also counts: a slope towards the sun can mean that your soil warms earlier in the spring and cools later in the fall. A slope away from the sun means a cooler garden. If the slope away-from-the-sun is slight you can work around it by sloping individual beds towards the sun, but if it’s a substantial slope it will make a real difference to how early you can get a harvest.


Containers for Growing Seedlings

You have a wide choice of containers if you want to grow your own seedlings, and they all have pros and cons. Here’s some info so you can make an educated choice:

Container type Pros Cons
Plastic flats with inserts and lids  Easily available
No mess, easy to use
Can be washed and re-used with care
Can eventually be recycled
Square units make the best use of tray space under lights
 More unnecessary plastic in the world
Cheap ones can be flimsy and not reusable
recycled plastic eg yogurt pots  Free
A good use for plastic pots before you recycle them
Must poke drainage hole in the bottom of each pot
Sizes are not optimal
Shapes and sizes vary, don’t make good use of space
recycled styrofoam cups  Free
A good use for old cups
Insulates root ball
 Must poke drainage hole in the bottom of each pot
Hard to clean after use, hard to recycle or re-use
cardboard tubes eg TP, paper towels  Free
Good for seeds with long taproots
Tall and narrow to fit plenty of plants in a small space
Can be planted “pot and all” so good for plants which don’t like roots disturbed
 Tend to go mouldy if they sit around damp for a long time
Must plant carefully – wet thoroughly and rip off rim so it does not show above ground
Don’t stack, so space-consuming to store
Newspaper pots  Free
Can be made with or without a commercial “potmaker”
 Time-consuming to make
Tend to go mouldy if they sit around damp for a long time
Must plant carefully – wet thoroughly and rip off rim so it does not show above ground
Advanced commercial plastic container setups  More sturdy than basic plastic inserts
Can be self-watering and have other advantages
 Expensive – sometimes VERY expensive
Even more plastic in the world.
Styrofoam ones can be impossible to recycle
Peat pots Recommended for plants which don’t like their roots disturbed
Breaks down in soil
Very widely available
 Peat extraction is environmentally questionable, and alternatives exist.
Must plant carefully – wet thoroughly and rip off rim so it does not show above ground
Coir pots Recommended for plants which don’t like their roots disturbed
Breaks down in soil
 More expensive than peat
Must plant carefully – wet thoroughly and rip off rim so it does not show above ground
Material comes from far, far away
Cow manure pots  Recommended for plants which don’t like their roots disturbed
Completely disintegrates in soil
North American product
 More expensive than peat or coir
Must plant carefully – wet thoroughly and rip off rim so it does not show above ground
Jiffy peat pellets Recommended for plants which don’t like their roots disturbed  Peat extraction is environmentally questionable, and alternatives exist.
Leaves netting behind in the soil
May contain non-organic fertilisers
Coir pellets Recommended for plants which don’t like their roots disturbed  Material comes from far, far away
Leaves netting behind in the soil
soil blocks Recommended for plants which don’t like their roots disturbed
No actual container at all
Conserves space in trays and under lights
Small blocks fit neatly into spaces in larger blocks for “potting on”
 Soil blocker to make the blocks is fairly expensive (but a one-time expense)
Needs suitable soil mix
Takes practice to make good blocks
Some plants don’t like the compacted soil in the blocks

Personally, I use a mix of basic plastic inserts I already own (re-used many times over, then recycled) and soil blocks. Both go in plastic trays I have had for years, mended when they start to leak, and eventually recycled when they fall apart completely. I plan to build wood trays from salvaged cedar when I run out pf plastic trays. For clear lids, I use a mix of clear plastic purpose-made lids, and reused sheets of clear plastic from old 1970’s illuminated ceilings.


New Year’s Resolutions for Gardeners

I’m not big on making resolutions for the New Year, but maybe I should be! There are a few things I could do that would make gardening more productive, and maybe even more fun…

  • Keep better records. I do keep some, especially to do with seeding and transplanting dates, but I rely on (fallible) memory for a lot of other things. It would be especially interesting to have a record of harvest amounts and dates, something I did when I was market gardening and selling my produce, but not since.
  • Rebuild the hoophouse! The poor thing has been sitting there uncovered for 18 months now, and it’s not doing us any good that way. Plus, it looks messy.
  • Make a place to relax in the garden, and then relax in it. Without getting up to “just pull a few weeds over there…”
  • Build surrounds around some of our heaped-up raised beds. We’ve got the wood, and it needs doing… I just get overtaken by the need to Plant Something In That Bed and before you know it, building a surround round  the planted bed would cause too much disturbance.

I could keep going, there are so many plans and ideas that would be great to turn into reality, but there’s only so much time and energy in one year!

What are your gardening resolutions this year?



Where to learn about Permaculture

Permaculture stands for “permanent agriculture” or, more recently, “permanent culture”: a way of designing gardens, landscapes, farms, neighbourhoods and communities that is permanent, in other words sustainable in the long run. There’s a lot to it, and there are many places to learn: Here’s a collection of places where you can discover more.

Permaculture magazine sites

Permaculture Magazine
Permaculture Magazine portal leading to,, and Permaculture Magazine – solutions for sustainable living; about, subscribe, articles, courses, classifieds, news, reviews and back issues
Permaculture Activist
Permaculture Activist, Permaculture directory, permaculture design, permaculture design course, articles, permaculture videos, permaculture back issues, permaculture institutes, permaculture magazine, permaculture journal, ecovillage,agroforestry news, agroforestry, seed sources,nurseries, plants, etc

Permaculture institutes, associations, etc

Permaculture Institute (Americas)

Permaculture Institute is an educational non-profit, offering Permaculture Design Courses and in-depth sustainable living classes at different locations in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Mexico and South America.

Permaculture Association (Britain) – Designing for Sustainability
Find permaculture resources, join the Permaculture Association, contribute a permaculture resource

Permaculture Principles

Explore the ethics and design principles behind the diversity and creativity of permaculture

Permaculture Research Institute USA

The Mission of the Permaculture Research Institute USA is to work with communities worldwide, to expand the knowledge and practice of integrated sustainable agriculture using the whole-systems approach of Permaculture Design. This will provide solutions for permanent abundance by training local people to become leaders of sustainable development in their communities and countries. – The Pattern Factory

NewForest Institute – Brooks Maine, Newforest Institute: Permaculture Work Plans

Introductory Articles

Introduction to Permaculture: Concepts and Resources

This publication offers definitions and descriptions of permaculture and its central principles. It offers listings of resources and publications on permaculture in the United States, Australia, and worldwide. (ATTRA)

An Introduction to Permaculture – PC Activist Magazine

Some History; Permaculture Defined; Characteristics of Permaculture; Ethics of Permaculture; Holmgren’s Principles of Permaculture Design; Mollison’s Principles of Permaculture Design

Permaculture on Wikipedia

Intro to Permaculture

HowStuffWorks “How Permaculture Works”

Permaculture is a holistic approach to agriculture. Learn about permaculture and why the movement provides a more sustainable way of living.

Permaculture Design Courses and Workshops

These are reasonably local to us in Powell River: either right here, on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands, or in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland of BC.

Permaculture Powell River

This project aims to bring Permaculture into the heart of the Powell River community, and to use Permaculture to bring the community into the heart of a public space that’s full of potential. Design Courses are taught by Ron Berezan and Erin Innes.

Permaculture BC

Based in Victoria, connects bio-regionally experienced and knowledgeable instructors focusing on theory and hands-on activity for students to graduate with the highest amount of retention, application and inspiration needed to create a positive sustainable future.

OUR Ecovillage

On Vancouver Island, this is a permaculture demostration and education site running multiple courses.

Pacific Permaculture

Multiple courses on Bowen Island and in the Kootenays.

Permaculture forums and discussions

Permaculture discussion forums (Australia)
Designing the creation of sustainable human habitat

Permaculture Forum – GardenWeb (N America)
This forum is meant for the discussion of permaculture. Permaculture is most easily defined as a philosophy that stresses the maintenance of horticulture or agriculture by relying on renewable resources and compatibility with the local ecosystem.

Permaculture UK forums
A forum for the discussion of permaculture and related subjects in the UK.

Eastern Suburbs Permaculture discussion group (Australia)
Eastern Suburbs Permaculture discussion group (Melbourne, Australia)

Permaculture Forums
Permaculture forums – organic homesteading – natural living. Lots of activity here. Based in WA state in the US, but discussions range internationally.

Plant Lists for Permaculture

Top 20 plants – Plants For A Future
Top 20 alternative useful plants.

Plants For A Future – 7000 useful plants
Plants For A Future is a resource centre for rare and unusual plants, particularly those which have edible, medicinal or other uses. We practice vegan-organic permaculture with emphasis on creating an ecologically sustainable environment and perennial plants.

Growing Permaculture Plants
Permaculture plant portraits, growing advice and design ideas.

Urban Permaculture

Permablitz Melbourne
Permablitz – Eating the suburbs, one backyard at a time

The Vertical Farm Project – Agriculture for the 21st Century and Beyond |
Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world’s urban centers. They offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply, and year-round crop production.

p4r :: permaculture for renters
Blog on permaculture for those who don’t own their land, especially apartment dwellers. Lots of container gardening.

Beginning Farmers » Urban Farm/Gardening
Beginning Farmer resources, information, and research about production, marketing, funding, training, apprenticeships, publications, websites, and events

Planting Justice
The mission of Planting Justice is to democratize access to affordable, nutritious food by empowering disenfranchised urban residents with the skills, inspiration, and paid opportunities we need to maximize food production and natural beauty in our neighborhoods.